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Santa Cruz County’s only locally based bank opens South County branch

August 25, 2004

The following is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County Bank, founded by local business people in February, has followed through on its plans to start a branch in Watsonville. The bank announced Monday it has igned a lease to open a full-service branch at 595 Auto Center Drive. The branch will include parking, a walk-up ATM and night depository, and in-branch banking Monday through Friday. Initially, the branch will employ about six people, but that number may double, according to President and Chief Executive Officer John Rossell. The employees will be a combination of new accounts personnel, tellers, a local branch manager and business development officers. Rossell is moving to the new branch, slated to open in February. David Heald, executive vice president and chief credit officer, will lead the Santa Cruz branch. "We really want to ensure that top management is available to customers," said Rossell. Rossell said he’s excited about the move. "The appeal of the south part of the county from a businessman’s perspective is it has a very open attitude toward growth and is the part of the county that’s growing the fastest," he said. Advertisement As the only locally owned bank in the county, Rossell said he expects the reception of the new branch to be positive. "A local bank can have more economic impact," he said. "It puts all its dollars back into the area." Rossell said the bank has total assets of $38 million after six months of operations. One reason the bank is so eager to enter Watsonville, he said, is the founders discovered about half of its shareholders were from the southern part of the county. "We feel that those shareholders quite rightly have expectations that we do business there," Rossell said. "We can’t serve our own shareholders without serving the entire county, because our shareholders come from throughout the county." Feedback on a location for the branch came primarily from founders and directors of the bank, said Rossell, and also from the rounds the bank made to Rotary lunches and informal meetings with investors. "It’s convenient to the new shopping area that’s off Highway 1 along Main Street and the new housing developments that have gone up, as well as the old downtown area," he said. The bank is accepting deposits for the Watsonville office and is offering its customers courier service, online banking and personal visits from its business development officers prior to the branch opening. Rossell said the bank has about $25 million in deposits after six months of operations in Santa Cruz, and that it expects similar growth patterns in Watsonville. Santa Cruz County Bank’s common stock is listed on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board under the stock symbol SCZC.OB. The bank has about 450 local shareholders. Contact Gwen Mickelson at gmickelson@santacruzsentinel.com. Santa Cruz County Bank WHAT: Privately owned community bank with a branch in Santa Cruz, and another slated to open in Watsonville in February. HEADQUARTERS: 325 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. BACKGROUND: Opened in February after public stock offering. EMPLOYEES: 16. LEADERSHIP: John Rossell, president and chief executive officer. DIRECTORS: Chairman George Gallucci, vice chairman William Hansen, Kenneth Chappell, Thomas Griffin, Tila Guerrero, David Heald, Steven John and John Rossell. FOUNDERS: Richard Alderson, Joseph Anzalone, Victor Bogard, Anthony and Rebecca Campos, Charles Canfield, Kate and Fred Chen, Marshall Delk, Mark Holcomb, Mateo Lettunich, Robert Lockwood, William Moncovich, Stuart Mumm, George Ow Jr., Louis Rittenhouse, Frank Saveria and Robert and Bjorg Yonts. INFORMATION: 457-5000; www.sccountybank.com. STOCK PRICE: Shares, trading on Over the Counter Bulletin Board as SCZC.OB, listed at $14.80. It last traded July 27. The 52-week range is $10-15. FINANCIALS: After six months, deposits were $25 million with assets of $38 million.

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